Taking The Battle To Enemy Within
By Anuj Chopra
NORTH CACHAR HILLS, INDIA -- After hours of being out of mobile phone range, the bell finally rang. “Commander Daniel here,” said a scratchy voice on the other end, probably somewhere in the remote jungles of Assam’s North Cachar Hills. “What do you want?”
The signal was weak. His coarse voice was breaking. It sounded as though Commander Daniel was on the move. He declined a face-to-face interview – “Too risky, we are being hounded” – but he had a terse message for the Indian government.
“Tell them,” he said, “if they think they can crush us just because they’ve got our chairman, they are wrong. Our movement will not stop.”
One of the most wanted fugitives in the region, Commander Daniel – Daniel Dimasa – escaped with two other rebels in a jailbreak in December after eight months behind bars. He is one of the top commanders of the Dima Halam Daogah (Jewel), also called Black Widow, the most lethal insurgent group in the region, active since 2003. It is fighting for a separate state within India for the Dimasas, the largest tribal group in this hill district. ...